Swimming Canada has suspended Ajax Swimming CEO and high performance coach Matt Bell after being informed of criminal charges filed against him.
Bell has been charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and four counts of luring a person under 18 years.
“We have been informed of the charges and are taking all appropriate actions available to us,” Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi said. “We have suspended Mr. Bell from all swimming activities and interactions under Swimming Canada’s jurisdiction pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.”
Bell was recently a member of the 2015 FINA World Junior Championships coaching staff and was most recently on deck on the FINA World Cup Series as a coach on the Mid-Eastern World Cup Tour.
“Immediately upon becoming aware of the charges, we began the process of contacting athletes and parents who have had interactions with Mr. Bell in connection with Swimming Canada national teams, tours and programs, and we should have all notifications complete within the next 24-hours,” El Awadi said.
The alleged victim, a teenage girl and former swimmer at Bell’s privately owned club, Ajax Swimming, reported the sexual assault that allegedly took place in 2011 to the Durham Regional Police this past August.
The DRPS Sexual Assault Unit launched an investigation which led to Bell’s arrest Tuesday.
Both Swimming Canada and the DRP are encouraging anyone with information to step forward. The DRP are asking anyone with information to contact Det. Bussanich of the Major Crime Sexual Assault Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5324.
Anonymous information can be sent to the DRP Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or online here.
With the police investigation still on-going, Swimming Canada stated that they will be issuing no further comment or details.